Valeo/KSAFA team up with Atletico, Sporting Lisbon for youth camps

Thursday, June 27, 2019

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Valeo FC will provide youth footballers in Jamaica with a monstrous opportunity to join elite European clubs when it hosts two football camps and combine at The University of the West Indies (UWI) playing field in July.

They are the Sporting Lisbon International Football Camp and Scouting Combine, which is linked to top Portuguese club, Sporting Lisbon; and the Atletico Madrid International Football camp and Combine, which will run for four days apiece.

The international football camps, which were launched at a press conference at Scotiabank's Liguanea Sports Club yesterday morning, are open to footballers aged 10-19.

Licensed European (UEFA A & B) professional coaches and scouts from these world class outfits will lead the process at both camps under the theme 'Train, Be Scouted and Discovered'.

The coaches are Filipe Manuel Antunes, Jose Joao Gomes, Marco Antonio Tavares, and Dario Manuel Castelo of Sporting Lisbon; Atletico Madrid's Sergio Recas Rojo and Francisco Urdian Garcia; and Valeo Futbol's Jamaica director, Fabian 'Fabulous' Davis, a former Reggae Boy and former national U-15 coach.

“It's part of a larger initiative that we're on about developing Jamaica's football and for that we needed a more holistic approach. It's player development, coaching development, club development, and league development, and last but not least, field development. The end goal is to raise the level of football in Jamaica,” said Emelio Williams, president of Valeo Academy.

Valeo FC has been operating in Jamaica for close to a year, since joining forces with the Corporate Area's governing body for football to stage the Valeo/KSAFA (Kingston and St Andrew Football Association) camps for youth footballers, which were mostly staged at Barbican playing field.

“KSAFA and Valeo Academy are proud to partner with Sporting Lisbon and Atletico Madrid to bring such an opportunity to the parish,” said Wayne Shaw, president, KSAFA.

“This will provide exposure for our academy players from both international clubs to provide necessary support needed to take them to the next level, building their careers through the opportunity provided,” added Shaw.

The Valeo/KSAFA camps were run generally by professional coaches here, including Davis, with regular inputs by other coaches from the organisation's parent body, which is based in Boston, Massachusetts, where Jamaica's Williams, a former St Jago High alumnus, is the director of coaching. Other Jamaicans such as former Youth World Cup representative, Keveral Stewart and Carlton Simmonds, technical director, are also on the coaching panel in Boston.

Some of the local coaches and players have already travelled to the US-based headquarters as part of its immersion program.

The club — one of few US Olympic training sites — has affiliation with the world's elite clubs and academies, such as Atletico and Sporting, and also has a residential facility in Portugal, which includes boys on contract with various clubs.

The Sporting Lisbon International Football camp and Scouting Combine will kick off on Monday, July 1 and continue everyday through to Thursday, July 4.

Training comprises several key developmental areas such as: advanced technical training; functional, position specific, tactical training; speed, strength, agility training; showcase matches and tournaments; player evaluations; and goalkeeper training.

“Hopefully the kids can be benchmarked by these European coaches, who actually coach their peers in Europe. So these are the U14 coaches, U-15 coaches, U17 coaches and also the scouts in those respective age groups,” Williams explained.

He added: “Everyone has aspirations of playing football at the highest level, but if you don't know the level and how to train at the level, then you're pretty much a blind man in a dark room. So when you have coaches who can come and push the players, explain the levels, and give you feedback on what you need to work on specifically as a player, as a coach, then you can go back and work on those specifics because it came from the horse's mouth. So part of the process here is we're going to be benchmarking the players in a whole bunch of key performance indicators.”

All this will be done under different programmes, which attract costs of varying levels depending on the number of hours. There is the half-day programme, which runs from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. at a cost of US$95 (approx. J$12,445.00); full day from 9:00 am – 3:00 p.m. at US$195 (J$25,545.00); extended day from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm at US$295 (J$38,645.00); and the Evening Only, from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, at US$95 (J$12,445.00).

These programmes and prices are largely applicable to the Atletico Madrid International Football Camp and Scouting Combine, which runs from Tuesday, July 9 to Friday, July 12. The only exception is the full day program, which runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm full day cost for both camps is the same US$195 (J$25,545.00).

Half day, full day and extended day, all with a similar price lay-out to the Sporting Lisbon sessions, will pertain during the training exercises run by coaches from Spanish giants Atletico.

Their camp and scouting combine will also include a showcase session, which runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at US$95 (J$12,445.00).

Additionally, the youth footballers will get opportunities to relax by playing other sports such as swimming, golf and tennis.

The registration process for both camps is being handled by Tanisha Atkinson-Murray, who can be contacted at (876) 803 0899 or

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